Traffic violators in Hyderabad owe the Hyderabad Traffic police as much as Rs, 62,94,18,750 in unpaid fines up till January 2019, reveals an RTI query. These figures could include fines pending from before state bifurcation as well.
The figures up till January 2019 show that two-wheelers in the city have pending traffic challans of Rs 53,25,22,590, while cars owe as much of Rs 5,01,88,675. Auto rickshaws owe the traffic police Rs 3,07,08,475 in unpaid challans and TSRTC buses owe Rs 7,60,535. The information was obtained through an RTI filed by Akshay Kumar, a social activist based out of the city.
The Rs 62 crore figure only represents unpaid traffic dues from the Hyderabad commissionerate. Officials say the figures could be much higher than the Rs 62 crore if the unpaid traffic dues for the Rachakonda and Cyberabad commissionerate that form Hyderabad city are also factored in.
‚ÄúCyberabad commissionerate is much larger than the Hyderabad Commissionerate, the fines issued within that city limit are also much higher. In other cities such as Kolkata for instance, the traffic police come up with offers, they give 25% to 50% discount for a period, for people to pay their fines proactively but the attitude of people in Hyderabad is such that they would misuse such an offer. Also, the money from the traffic fines does not go to the traffic police, it goes to the state government coffers. The department could actually use this money from fines to improve their service,‚ÄĚ opines Akshay who filed the RTI.
Apart from routine traffic checks for catching those with multiple unpaid challans, the city traffic police have little or no means by which they can recover the amount.
For the traffic police, there are no provisions in the Motor Vehicles Act 1988 that can be used to collect traffic challans in a time-bound manner. The traffic police can only impound vehicles that have over 10 unpaid traffic challans. ‚ÄúThe best we can do is catch them through our routine checks. Each time a vehicle is stopped for checking, they run the number plate on the TSCOP app and it will show how many unpaid dues are there on the vehicle. If there are over 10 challans, then we impound the vehicle,‚ÄĚ said a senior official with the Hyderabad Traffic Police.
Earlier in January this year, the Cyberabad traffic police detained two vehicles that had over 100 pending challans. While one vehicle was found to have 102 cases with fines amounting to Rs 16,565 the other vehicle was found to have 120 cases and had pending fines worth Rs 19,930. These vehicles were stopped as part of a routine check.